TAHUA 2017: Funding increase aims to address school overcrowding

By Ani-Oriwia Adds
  • Wellington

A recent government report revealed 214 schools nationally are over capacity and 488 are at risk of becoming overcrowded. More than a quarter of Wellington Schools are already overcrowded. Ngā Mokopuna is one of them at 114% over capacity.

The principal of TKKM o Nga Mokopuna Mark Bradley says he would like the budget to be used in the right way for teaching purposes. 

He says, "They say the children are our future but they don’t invest in their education so they can meet our expectations and boost the economy here in New Zealand."

In the government's Budget, an extra $458 mil has been allocated over the next four years, largely to meet increasing student numbers.

There are a number of major investments as part of the new funding which includes:

Early childhood education providers will receive an additional $386 million of operating funding over the next four years. This will provide a further 31,000 early learning places over the next four years, as well as $35.5 million targeted toward supporting children most at risk of underachievement.

Primary and secondary schools will receive $458.9 million of additional operating funding over the next four years, largely to meet increasing student numbers. $60.5 million will be used to boost schools’ Operational Grant Funding by 1.3 per cent, while schools with high numbers of at-risk students will receive an increase of 2.67 percent in their Targeted At-Risk Funding (bringing the total increase for this component to 4 per cent).

A $456.5 million investment in school property with six new schools, the expansion of two schools, 11 special education satellite units and 305 new classrooms nationwide. This consists of $392.4 million of capital and $64.1 million of operating funding over the next four years.

$63.3 million of operating funding over the next four years will be provided to support students with additional learning needs, including expanding specialist behavioral services.

$7.6 million for Māori language curriculum resources, $9.4 million over four years to support students with English as another language through the ESOL program and $810,000 for schools in Kaikoura over two years to support them following the November earthquake.